Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three Illinois State High School Book Awards Books aka Abraham Lincoln Books

1. Sontag. House Rules
This is a memoir of growing up in a household with a very controlling, emotionally abusive father, who worsened in time. Sontag looks at why her mother could not break free of abuse, why she sought so hard for positive recognition she could never get, how her sister, the invisible one faired. How people tried to help her. What it has all meant in time. I would recommend this to folks who have read Pelzer's A child called it and needed a more thoughtful look at abuse and its impact.

2. Corben. Hold Tight
This is an adult thriller with a couple of teen protaganists. Its difficult to summarize this story as it has a large cast of characters, all of whom are necessary to this very twisty plot. A suicide of a friend has changed Adam dramatically and caused his parents to start spying on him and restricting his movements. He reacts by running away. Which causes the parents to go searching, even as the cops claim he is a run-away who they will not search for and that one son of a cop is not involved. A school girl has been harshly, unjustifiably criticized or made fun of perhaps by an otherwise well respected teacher which leads to her being cyberbullied and her father to stalk the teacher and her mother to threaten him. There appears to be a serial killer on the loose having done one horrendous murder with another woman missing. Jill, Adam's sister is being shoved aside while her parents worry about her beloved brother. Jill is also the only remaining friend of the girl being cyberbullied. And Adam's father is a renowned organ transplant surgeon who is trying to find a kidney for a neighbor boy whose father does not know he is not the boy's biological father at the same time he is searching for his missing son. It all ties together very neatly and unexpectedly in the end. There is also a teen nightclub that may be a cover for an illegal drug operation that perhaps Adam and the boy who committed suicide may have been involved in it. Corben never loses track of any of his characters. Its one very fast roller coaster ride.

3. Giles. Right Behind You
At age nine a young boy, upset about a number of things tries to burn a friends new baseball glove in a fit of anger and winds up burning the kid to death as well. The public judges the boy to be a sociopathic murderer. However, he spent several years in a mental institution, catatonic so horrified was he by what had happened. His father never gave up on him, his doctors never gave up on him. Eventually, as a teenager he is released to try to live a normal life. How he learns to forgive himself and live again, experience happiness and love is a hard trip with many errors along the way.
jdw 10/27/10

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